Amherst Edges Conn. College in Overtime, 3-2

Sophomore Kyla Woodhouse netted the game-winner in overtime.
AMHERST, MA – The 13th-ranked Amherst College women’s soccer team let a 2-0 lead over visiting Connecticut College slip away in a span of less than five minutes, but the Lord Jeffs managed to pull out a 3-2 victory in overtime. Amherst (5-1-2/4-0-1 NESCAC) increases its unbeaten streak to seven games, while the Camels (4-4-0/0-4-0) remain winless in conference play.

The Camels entered the game having allowed only one first-half goal to NESCAC opponents this year, but it was just six minutes and eight seconds into the game when a perfectly placed shot from Amherst senior quad-captain Natalie Ferraiolo (Palo Alto, CA) snuck over the outstretched arms of junior goalkeeper Bailey Andrews (Pembroke, MA) and under the crossbar. Ferraiolo’s shot came from 20 yards out and gave the Jeffs a 1-0 lead.

Not to be outdone, fellow senior quad-captain Alanna Darling (Charlton, MA) snuck a shot over Andrews from 35 yards out in the 20th minute to give her team a two-goal advantage. The Camels found themselves in good position less than five minutes later when first-year Jacqui Durand (Natick, MA) sent a great ball into the box on a corner kick, but they could not get off a shot.

Just as quickly as Amherst had taken a lead, Connecticut had stormed right back to tie things up at 2-2 by netting a pair of goals in the final five minutes of the first half. In the 41st minute, junior Sharon Katz (Barrington, RI) settled a pass on the right side and beat junior goalkeeper Lili Ferguson (Winnetka, IL) high and to the far post to cut her team’s deficit in half.

With less than one minute to play before intermission, Connecticut first-year Brigi Palatino (Ludlow, MA) dribbled along the end line before finding senior tri-captain Sarah Allen (Holden, MA), who made a great far post run and headed in the game-tying goal with 36 seconds to play. The Camels headed into halftime with an 8-7 advantage in shots and with significant momentum.

Ferguson made three saves in the first half, while Andrews stopped two shots. Amherst won the corner kick battle, 3-2.

The first scoring threat of the second half came in the 57th minute when Amherst junior Meg Murphy (Springfield, MA) sent a hard, low shot to the far post, but Andrews came up with a big save and knocked the ball wide and out of bounds. Murphy had another great chance on the ensuing corner kick, but her shot from just inside the 18 sailed high.

The Jeffs began a stretch of heavy pressure with 15 minutes remaining in regulation, and the Amherst bench came alive when first-year forward Allison Dorey (San Francisco, CA) hit the left post with a shot from inside the 18. With 6:00 showing on the clock, sophomore Kyla Woodhouse (Topsham, ME) drew another collection of sighs from the home fans when she ripped a shot off the crossbar. The ball bounced back into play, but the Jeffs could not get off another shot.

Darling put a hard shot on net with 2:30 remaining, but Andrews once again came up big and punched the ball over the goal. Amherst never took its foot off the gas pedal, but the hosts could not regain the lead in regulation. The Jeffs held a commanding 15-6 advantage in shots in the second half, forcing Andrews to come up with six more saves.

Amherst earned a pair of corner kicks in the first two minutes of overtime but could not find the game-winner either time. The Jeffs’ persistence paid off, however, when senior Stephanie Yesnik (Arlington, VA) rolled the ball from the end line back to Woodhouse, who sent a rocket to the back of the net to seal the 3-2 victory.

Andrews finished with eight saves but fell to 2-3 with the loss, while first-year Allie Horwitz (Woodbridge, CT) made three saves in the second half and overtime to improve to 2-0-1. The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday, Oct. 11 when they host Colby College at noon.